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Jack Wright / Carol Genetti / Jon Mueller: Nom Tom

Mark Corroto By

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Jack Wright continues to be the greatest free jazz saxophonist you've never heard. But that is his calling, not his choice. He travels the land playing for audiences of two to two hundred, can teach a very inspired history lesson, or scramble some eggs. It makes no difference to him. Wright chose his path long ago, placing creativity above popularity, sound generation above melody.

Recently, more artists have come forward with similar ideas of improvisation. Together they are winning over listeners (sometime literally) one at a time. These two lengthy tracks, released as CD-Rs on Wright's Spring Garden Music label, feature the saxophonist with Chicago vocalist Carol Genetti and Milwaukee percussionist Jon Mueller.

Genetti's wordless vocals—think of her as a singing Axel Dorner—set the mood for both Wright and Mueller to keep this affair at its minimalist best. Genetti's murmurs, groans, fidgeting overtones, and throat singing avoid the screeching and shouting you might have expected. Wright either stuffs his saxophone with a cloth or plays against the fabric of his pants to keep within the temper of the two pieces. For his part, Mueller, playing an amplified snare, allows for his small gestures to keep the flow of this music continually moving ahead.

The attraction here, like the direction of more and more improvisation, is the subtle nuances that space and silence grant the listener's imagination. The slightest sounds now available on digital recordings can be the fizzle and pop produced by the artist. The inspired smaller gestures seem to have more to say here than most "improved" recordings these days.


Track Listing: Track 1; Track 2.

Personnel: Carol Genett: sound vocalist; Jon Mueller: amplified snare drums; Jack Wright: alto and soprano saxophone.

Title: Nom Tom | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Spring Garden Music

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